Local Focus: Red Earth Trading Co.
December 15, 2014
Supporting local businesses has always been one of my loudest messages, but when a local business is also supporting artisans on the other side of the world, it's my privilege to share their message and story with you. Travis Gravette started a non-profit supporting local leaders in Uganda and Kenya in 2006, spending the majority of his college years in East Africa. During his visits, he began meeting local artisans with incredible talent. Their abilities were completely disrupted by the struggle to financially survive on a fickle tourism market. In 2010, he founded Red Earth Trading Co., a project with "a strong social mission to cultivate hope and opportunity through commerce." With an emphasis on beautiful jewelry design, Red Earth is using business for good, successfully creating a cross-world connection between artisans and the consumer.
Creating Hope & Opportunity through Fashion.
Red Earth's aesthetic is simple and elegant, but the rugged touch of local artistry is evident and beautiful. Many of the pieces are made from recycled materials, like brass and aluminum. The collections are designed by Creative Director Katy Gravette, the founder's sister. A few of my favorites not pictured in these photos are the Rex Necklace, the Thin Cuff, the Imperial Ring, and the Asteria Necklace. Every piece is perfect for layering or able to stand alone, understated but effortlessly chic. Buying a product from Red Earth means purchasing a handcrafted work of art from someone on the other side of the world, someone who knows the importance of hard work and appreciates every single detail of the business they're a part of and the jewelry they've created.
Instead of simply using these connections to create elegant jewelry, Red Earth also works with the artisans to help "better organize and manage their businesses to be optimized for growth." Each individual involved with this opportunity is not only paid a fair price up front for his or her work, but offered interest free loans, paid back through each customer's purchase order. These men and women are more than talented at their craft. They value their employees, see worth in those around them, and have a strong desire to make a difference for themselves, their families, and their community. Not only does the connection with Red Earth provide a more stable market for their small businesses, but it means new roofs on houses, new equipment for workshops, and a widespread positive impact that would otherwise be unattainable.
Red Earth Trading Co. is located right here in Nashville, Tennessee. Using business to create a positive impact, Travis wants people to "love our products first and foremost, and then discover how they are made and the impact their purchase has." Coming up, Red Earth will be creating it's first celebrity collection with actress and model Angie Harmon, to be released in Spring of 2015. From Nashville, to Africa, to your jewelry box, making a difference is easier than ever. Support local while still helping someone in need. Shop Red Earth.